Thursday, November 23, 2017

Summer 2017

Well, it’s been awhile since I put anything down in this blog so, I guess I should try to catch up anyone who still reads it.
Ready to leave Marathon Fl and head north
Anna's new dinghy
Last time I posted (last spring) we were still in Marathon fl and getting ready to head north. The trip went well with a fast passage up the coast of Fl in the Gulf Stream (about 9 kts hr after hr) and about Jacksonville we headed in to the shore since a front was to come through later that day. The front didn’t hit until we had passed Savanna and then it came on with a vengeance right on the nose. 25 kts of wind and a building sea that we bashed into for the next 6 hrs until we made it to Charleston Harbor where, in the dark, we had not 1 or 2 but 3 ships heading both in and out at the same time as us, it was exciting!
Dolphins off our bow in the Gulf Stream
Finally we made it back to Oriental NC and Deaton Marine where I did a major outside repair job and new paint job on the Snow Goose. Boy does she look good.
After a week of prep I finally put on 3 coats of paint.

she look nice!
Then it was up to the Chesapeake Bay and to Buzzard point marina in Reedville Md where we left the boat for a few weeks. 
Sunset at Buzzard's Point Marina
In June, we brought the 3 grand kids back to the boat and headed north to Maine (or so we thought). After 4 weeks of cruising with stops in Washington DC, Annapolis, Baltimore, New Jersey, New York City and finally Mystic Connecticut we were ready to push on to Maine but the grand daughters mutinied on me and asked if we could skip Maine so, we headed back to buzzard point and back to Michigan.
Scrubbing the decks before we left for Maine
The Crew takes a break in Washington DC
Annapolis was a great stopping point and the Navel Academy was fantastic!
The "Sultan"
Making our way in the Hudson River
The summer was a blur of contracting jobs that ended with Anna and me flying down to Mexico! To San Miguel de Allende to be precise where we spent 2 delightful weeks getting to know Mexico and enjoying the "Day of the Dead" celebration. San Miguel is a beautiful town filled with cobblestone streets and friendly people. A great break from our normal fall rush to the boat and then pushing south for the winter.

The main cathedral in San Miguel

"Day of the Dead" contestant in San Miguel
Now, we are getting ready to leave Michigan and head down to the Snow Goose for the winter. Hope to see some of you this winter!













Sunday, March 26, 2017

A trip to the airport

We biked down to the airport and found the EAA (experimental aircraft association) museum in Marathon and found many airplanes and models on display.

this is a GREAT wind vane.

one of the outside displays

This was a "luxury aircraft" in its day

Add very cute little single seater
 As a bonus, they was a 1929 Ford Tri-motor at the airport giving rides (for a $70.00 fee). That plane is almost 90 years old and still flying, just incredible! Here's a link to info about Ford trimotors. 

They had just started the far engine

notice the passengers?

Just after takeoff as it passed overhead


It’s like coming home again. This is our 7th year of stopping in Marathon and after what seems like we were constantly changing our location this winter it feels good to not be on the move. So, we have decided to just stay here for a month+ and not go to the Bahamas this year. There’s lot’s to do here, lot’s of friends on other boats in the harbor, and I have a few larger maintenance issues that need to be addressed but, it's in the Fl Keys, what could be better?

Here's a few of the things that we have been seeing and doing.

one of the locals hanging out

I did lots of biking this year

Anna's "new" boat
We went to see a lot of entertainment this year, This is "Joe Mama" (on the right)

And, of course, fighting with the outboard motor...I eventually won.

Friday, March 24, 2017

You dirty rat!

Oh, I forgot this one, We had a Rat on board!

When we were tied up to Russ's dock in Punta Gorda unbeknownst to us we acquired an unwanted passenger, a rat! Russ spotted it in the evening after we left Punta Gorda and were anchored at Tom's bridge. He saw it run by in the twilight and we searched the boat but couldn't find the rat. The next morning we opened up the main sail to find a large hole chewed into it..
Not something you want to see when hoisting the sail
the "chew" before I prepared the hole for patching
Down it came and after wrestling it down stairs I sewed a patch over the hole. Getting a 350 sq ft sail down into our cabin and then sewing the patch on was a real challenge but it turned out well and we used the sail later that day to head up to Crystal River.
Squeezing the sail into the cabin


New patch on an old sail

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

On to the keys

The Trip back down to Punta Gorda was uneventful and we actually got to sail for a bit.
Running south under spinnaker
Once at their dock we picked up Russ and with the forecast promising an easy east wind we headed south to Key West. Oh what a lie the forecast turned out to be. The wind turned toward the nose and increased until we were jumping around so much that it felt like a washing machine inside of the boat. It continued all night & the next day, it was a truly yucky trip south. We were very glad to pick up the lights of Key West that evening and drop anchor. Once ashore, this is just a little of what we saw:
This sign was right next to...
This "fish cutting board" al-la pelican feeding station
This old guy sang sea shanties on one of the wooden tall ships
I meet Marilyn Monroe!
Saw this mermaid up on a building she's in great shape for being from 1889
We saw this picture all over Key West this year.
Key West is just a ‘hoot & a holler’ if you like that type of crowd. Lot’s of tourist and lots of locals trying their best to get a dollar or two off from everyone of those tourists. Lot’s to see around the island. We dropped Russ off (he was taking the fast ferry back to the west coast of Fl) and after a few days we headed north to Marathon and the Bahamas.
Finally, Sunset at Key West next stop, Marathon and the Bahamas.







Monday, March 13, 2017

Crystal River

After the cruise we thought that a trip up the west coast of Fl might be a good Idea. We have always wanted to see the Crystal River area because it has a large resident population of Manatees. It took us 30 hours of slow chuging up the coast on the outside to get there. Why the outside? Because the second bridge north of Charlotte Habor, the Tom Adams bridge, was broke and after sitting for a day waiting for it to be fixed we backtracked to Boca Gran Pass and turned north on the outside instead to go find manatees.

Mr. Manatee the mascot of Crystal River
The entrance to the Crystal river chanel is about 7 miles from the coast and then after you reach the coast you still have to go another 6 miles up the Crystal River to get to the town of Crystal River.

It's a long way jut to get to the coast and then up the river.
(double click on the pictures to enlarge them)
 When we got there we anchored in a large cove and found it littered with manatees. Later in the day we dinghied up the creek to the main springs area. They have the actual springs roped off to keep all those “humans” away but the water is clear and you could see the big “sea cows” floating, swimming and sleeping in the spring area. Once in a while one would come out and swim amoung the humans. It was amazing to watch them and to swim with them.



LOTS of tourists in the water to view the manatees

The town is a bit on the run down side but they are making progress capitalising on the influx of tourists to see the manatees and so it is on the up swing. All in all, it was worth the time and effort to travel up here.





Monday, March 6, 2017

More from the cruise

Just thought that I’d put in a few more pictures from the cruise that Anna and I went on. Hope that you enjoy them.
Beautiful church in Key West

Stain glass in the church in Key West

The one Behind is our ship!

This was our home for 10 days

Top view of the ship

Old church on Tortola

The flowers on the islands were fabulous

Just another beautiful beach

St. Marten, a nice, cheep place to visit!

We found a mouse hiding in our bed

Street performers in Port Rico

The old fort at the harbor entrance of San Juan, Port Rico

Close up of the side of the fort from the water
In the fort looking at the same area
Yet another lookout post on the side of the fort.


Nice schooner in Key West

What can I say... NICE HAT!